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Matloughe

Southern Railway - Electrified Branch Line Services

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Good Evening all,

 

I am having a problem so thought I would ask the pool of knowledge that exists here on the forums to answer a question I cannot find in my books or online. 

I am building an ex LBSCR Branchline in Southern days, based loosely on Devils Dyke but if it had continued on past its closure date - but the site of the station is potentially linked to the Brighton Mainline via a junction just south of Clayton Tunnel rather than via the West Coastway notionally it is a Triangular junction with tracks facing both Brighton & Hassocks - but I've not decided. 
Now onto the actual question, I am mulling over whether or not to 'electrify' my Branch as part of the original Southern Railway Brighton Mainline Electrification in 1933. What I am trying to find out is are there any examples of a joint Steam & electrified Branchline to Southern Railway / Region practices with steam powered "pull-push" trains running alongside 2-BIL's or 2-NOL's that are terminating clear off of the mainline. I know Horsted Keynes's sole reason for electrification was to turn back the Seaford service clear of the Junction at Haywards Heath - and I know the East Grinstead - Lewes line was still steam powered at the time but did Steam Passenger local services run regularly over electrified tracks other than diverted expresses or scheduled London-Brighton trains avoiding the Brighton Mainline.

 

Its probably a resounding no, especially in later Southern Region times but - earlier in the thirties when electrification was less widespread could it have been a proposition to 'share' passenger services on a branch line. Or would steam be more relegated to specials or one-off passenger runs & freight primarily.

 

Kind Regards,

Gary

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Not quite your chosen locale, but right up to the end of steam on Central, the Horsham-Brighton service via Steyning was steam operated.

 

I wouldn't worry about mixing steam and electric - Southern expanded the electric network to suit principal flows, and branches remained steam-worked for decades. So all sorts of electric lines saw steam workings. Eastbourne had the Cuckoo trains, while Hastings had steam to Ashford and London via Tun Wells. 

 

Do it and enjoy!

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Slightly off piste, but on the Redhill to Guildford line, the Southern electrified it only as far as Reigate. So you had terminating electric services to London, superimposed on the steam worked Reading to Redhill ones.

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A bit closer to 'town' you had mixed workings at / to / through Sanderstead where the Woodside an' South Croydon electrics terminated on an otherwise steam operated line. ( Shame the Southern Heights was never built ! )

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More of a longer distance, main line example than I think you're intending but Brighton - Tonbridge steam hauled services operated over the electrified sections  as far as Lewes; plenty of BILs, HALs and NOLs along the Central Section's east coast line.

 

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Posted (edited)

As well as Horsham - Steyning - Brighton there are photos of M7s at Littlehampton after electrification but I don't know what services they operated.

 

You can always invoke Rule 1.

 

Cheers

David

Edited by DavidB-AU

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Course there's always the very obvious - Horsted Keynes where the electrified branch from Haywards Heath terminated adjacent to the steam services on the through route .............................

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3 hours ago, DavidB-AU said:

As well as Horsham - Steyning - Brighton there are photos of M7s at Littlehampton after electrification but I don't know what services they operated.

 

Not obvious to me what those services might have been. The whole West Worthing/Horsham to Havant section, including Littlehampton and Bognor Regis, was electrified in one hit in May 1938. No doubt the juice rail was in place well before the last steam services ran, and so they were photographed? And of course freight services throughout the electrified area continued to be steam operated until well after the war. 

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Moreover, the Central Section wasn't exactly short of tank engines of its own so the use of M7s within a stone's throw or two of Brighton does seem a little odd !

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Posted (edited)

M7 were, I believe, tried by SR on the complex of services centred on Tunbridge Wells West, but not persisted with (they came back much later), ditto on services from Horsham, where I think they were retained.

 

There was a slow but steady attrition of Brighton D3 and D1 , in favour of standardising on M7 and H.

 

But, I’m still a tad confused by Littlehampton, unless it was pre-electrification. Or, was it some continuation or diagramming complexity of the Midhurst services from Chichester? Mind you, passenger services on that route were withdrawn before electrification anyway.

 

As to the OP’s question, a branch, once electrified would most likely have a pure electric passenger service; the ‘mixed-up’ examples, of which there were more, especially in the Reading/Aldershot/Guildford area, tend to relate to places with services over two or more routes.

Edited by Nearholmer
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If you're thinking of Pull & Push working, the H class came much later ...... using second (?) hand fittings from Rs & R1s - and probably from the Brighton tanks too - from 1949.

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Posted (edited)

You’re right, although I’m not sure which services became PP when, and I’m not sure what PP system was fitted to M7 when ...... didn’t the LSWR use a different system from the LBSCR, and wasn’t it the LBSCR one that SR adopted?

 

im guessing that kit was transferred from D1 to M7.

 

A whole new subject for study!

 

PS: Semgonline says:

 

M7 - When in 1912 the LSWR introduced push-pull services on some branch lines many of the class were fitted with a cable and pulley system of operation. However the Southern Railway subsequently adopted the LBSCR compressed air control system and thirty six of the class were converted to this between 1930 and 1937.

 

D3 - When the Southern Railway began phasing out the Stroudley D1 class it started fitting the D3s for motor train working and eventually converted almost all the class.

Edited by Nearholmer
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5 hours ago, DavidB-AU said:

As well as Horsham - Steyning - Brighton there are photos of M7s at Littlehampton after electrification but I don't know what services they operated.

 

You can always invoke Rule 1.

 

Cheers

David

In the Middleton book, Haywards Heath to Seaford, there is a photo of a steam hauled pull-push unit at Newhaven which is providing the service whilst the current was switched off for maintenance - no replacement bus service in those days, I suppose.

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Thank you to all who have commented, your views have re-enforced what I already thought was correct that once a line was electrified unless a vital service passed over it (for example diverted trains via Horsted Keynes) the steam passenger service was abolished.

 

And being the little end of a small twig of the Brighton system unless the juice was turned off (for repairs or damage) or a special was needed it would only be steam-hauled freight. 

 

I'm going to ponder - I might lay the 3rd rail but my station layout only allows the Main Platform to be electrified as the bay road is actually the main goods siding and likely to be blocked.

 

Many Thanks to all!

Gary

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Alton was a 3-way terminus. Electric trains to London, steam trains to Winchester and Fareham. I don't know how much there was in the way of through trains other than main line diversions.

 

Or Reading might be a consideration. Electric trains on the London route, steam to Guildford, sharing the route as far as Wokingham.

 

For your scenario you could just have an electrified route to Brighton, and a non-electrified route to somewhere else with the branch junction somewhere off scene.

 

Though if you've built a single track BLT, electrification is a bit of a stretch. So far as I know every route the Southern electrified was 2 or more tracks at the time. Even now there are very few route miles of electrified single line (either DC or AC). Makes sense really - to justify electrification an intensive service is really a necessary prerequisite.

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Bits of Wimbledon to West Croydon were always single-track, I think.

 

Latterly, the Seaford line has been ST beyond Newhaven, but I'm fairly sure it was DT when first electrified.

 

All the other ST bits on BR(S) that I can recall are post-SR.

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48 minutes ago, Zomboid said:

Though if you've built a single track BLT, electrification is a bit of a stretch. So far as I know every route the Southern electrified was 2 or more tracks at the time. Even now there are very few route miles of electrified single line (either DC or AC). Makes sense really - to justify electrification an intensive service is really a necessary prerequisite.

 

No i've build a single branch line terminus with main platform with run-around, bay/siding, and two other sidings. It looks very much like this photo from Disused Stations the branch line itself would be single track very much like the Horsted Keynes Branch, or Wimbledon - West Croydon. The vague idea I had would be to electrify it as a 'why not' as part of the Brighton Line electrification works a bit like Horsted Keynes was electrified to provide a space off of the mainline to turn back or divert EMU's, but the primary service would be offered by steam-hauled trains normally.

 

I think as others have said if there is a juice rail it is unlikely to have any meaningful steam powered service for passengers. So perhaps I will for now just keep at a steam hauled line lets face it, it'll be more operationally interesting with a mix of Push-Pull, normal passenger & freight etc.

 

Kind Regards,

Gary

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Farnham-Alton is now single track. :)

 

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Frimley - Ash Vale might always have been single? 

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Electrification would add an additional element of interest, not only with the stock but the associated infrastructure. It was the ultimate goal of the Southern Railway and wherever installed, the direct lines thereon were never intended to host steam passenger services again. 

 

As has been mentioned, adjoining steam services at an electrified location give the most potential. You may want to consider inter regional excursion services but that is probably getting away from your local theme. There is always contingency workings which would affect the electrified lines and necessitate steam operation such as flooding and maybe even an ASLEF strike!

 

You could always exercise your "licence". Your railway, your choice and what is or may have been plausible. The only rigid rules that we all  must adhere to are those that we impose ourselves, with the possible exceptions of a (near) replica or an exhibition layout.

 

 

 

 

 

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Infrastructure wise, remember that the con rail, substations and so on didn't just appear in a puff of smoke, there would have been a considerable time when the 3rd rail and supporting infrastructure was there but the trains were steam. You could model Winchester in  September 1966 with a procession of steam and diesel locos on an electrified railway, and then use the same layout for September 1967 when it would have been REPs, TCs and so on running on exactly the same infrastructure.

 

I expect there would have been some electric trains testing various things in the months leading up to the big change as well.

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15 hours ago, Zomboid said:

Alton was a 3-way terminus. Electric trains to London, steam trains to Winchester and Fareham.............

.......... and Blazingsmoke ( via Buggleskelly )  -  er that's four way !

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The marshlink line between Ashford and Hastings is still unelectrified in places due to it being marked for closure by the beeching report. 

 

Big james 

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6 minutes ago, Wickham Green said:

.......... and Blazingsmoke ( via Buggleskelly )  -  er that's four way !

That line closed before electrification. The passenger service finished in 1932, freight in 1936, and the electric service to Alton commenced in 1937.

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